CURACAO STICK FIGHTING


Curaçao Stick Fighting was a popular art in Curaçao until the begging of the 20th century. The authorities have been trying to get rid of the walking stick known as "Garoti" or "Koko Makaku" (which was roughly 80 to 90 cm in length), that had a whole drilled into 1 end of the stick with a looped thin belt of woven leather in it (a "Ganchorofé"), since the 18th century. This is because is also used in fights. A cult actually formed and was based around the "game of sticks". They considered it a dangerous weapon and decreed on 04/15/1720 that the free blacks and slaves were not allowed to walk around with one on Sundays and were not allowed hit people at all. Stick fighting was a heavy part of the culture and was done at festivals and parties. Two men would get in the ring and dance and jump around to thr rhythm of the singing and clapping. Once a blow was dealt to the head, the one who dealt the blow was the winner. If blood cam from the wound, the audience would shout "Sanger Pa Tambú", or "Blood For The Drum". The loser then had to let some of his blood flow on to the drum from his head. The expression "Sanger Pa Tambú" is also said to be a way to challenge a rival to a duel. The game was used to challenger other men for their dancing partners. One who is practically invincible is given the honorable name "Stick Priest".